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First female Saudi pilot graduates – but can't drive a car at home


Hanadi Z. Al-Hindi receives the civil aviation license at a ceremony in Amman. (AN photo by Abdul Jalil Mustafa)

OK. While Saudis are proud of this woman, why can’t she drive in her country?

The Kingdom’s first woman pilot, Hanadi Zakaria Al-Hindi, graduated yesterday from the Middle East Academy for Commercial Aviation in Jordan. “It is a source of pride for us,” said Muhammad Audeh, chairman of the academy’s board of directors, at a graduation ceremony where she received her civil aviation license.

For her part, Al-Hindi expressed joy at graduating and said she would return to Saudi Arabia to work on a private plane owned by Prince Al-Waleed ibn Talal who paid the costs of her studies in Jordan.

Folks went apesh*t when Consultative Council member Mohammad al-Zulfa recently proposed lifting the driving ban. The Arab Freepi cited all the evil that would become of women that dared to get behind the wheel of a car.

Some say it will present her with opportunities to violate Islamic law, such as exposing her eyes while driving or interacting with strange men, like police officers or mechanics.

Driving by women leads to evil,” Munir al-Shahrani wrote in a letter to the editor of the Al-Watan daily. “Can you imagine what it will be like if her car broke down? She would have to seek help from men.”

Well if women can fly, then they can get their asses out of the country and taste a little freedom for a change.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding